April meeting will include first reading and public hearing on proposed fare increase ordinance, ahead of May 24 vote
The TriMet Board of Directors will begin considering an ordinance on a proposed fare increase at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 26. The Board will hold a public hearing on Ordinance 374, as part of the process. They will not make a decision during the April meeting. Rather, following the first reading and public hearing in April, a second reading and vote will occur at the Board’s May 24, 2023 meeting. If approved, the fare increase would take effect January 1, 2024.
Fare increase proposal
The proposal that the Board is considering calls for increasing:
- Adult 2 ½-hour tickets and LIFT single ride tickets by 30 cents to $2.80.
- Honored Citizen and Youth 2 ½-hour tickets by 15 cents to $1.40.
- Adult day passes by 60 cents to $5.60.
- Honored Citizen and Youth day passes by 30 cents to $2.80.
The current proposal calls for no change to monthly and annual fares, including the monthly fare cap for riders using Hop Fastpass®. The monthly cap would remain at $100 for riders using the Adult fare and $28 those using Youth or Honored Citizen fares.
TriMet last increased the Adult fare in 2012. That’s despite inflation and increases for other basic services over the past decade, as well as a 37% increase in the cost of running and maintaining the transit system.
The April Board of Directors meeting will be held in Suite 206 of the Portland Building, which is located at 1128 Southwest 5th Avenue. During the meeting, the public will have multiple opportunities to provide feedback on the proposal:
- Public forum: TriMet holds a public forum at the start of every Board meeting, which allows for comments on any topic relating to TriMet and our service. Those who wish to speak must sign up in person, before the meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.
- Public hearing: The Board will hold a public hearing, specific to Ordinance 374, in conjunction with the first reading. The Board President will call for participants to come forward, during the “Ordinances” section after the reading of the ordinance by title.
- Virtual testimony: Arrangements have been made for those who wish to provide testimony virtually. Visit trimet.org/meetings/board by noon, Tuesday, April 25, to sign up to receive a link to participate via Zoom.
- Written testimony: Email comments for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon, Tuesday, April 25.
Background, outreach & Title VI reports
TriMet is governed by a seven-person Board of Directors, which began discussions around a possible fare increase last fall. During a Nov. 9, 2022 Board Retreat, several members cited the need for TriMet to increase fare revenue, as well as overall revenue, to help provide financial stability for transit operations and address inflationary costs. With a majority of the Board indicating support for a 2024 fare increase, members directed TriMet staff to formalize a proposal for consideration.
TriMet launched a comprehensive public outreach and engagement campaign in December 2022. Nearly 5,700 people responded to an online survey about the proposal, while in-person and online open house events drew more than 400 participants. In addition, TriMet partnered with community based organizations to collect feedback from populations with limited English proficiency, with about 240 people attending culturally-specific events. TriMet presented an outreach report to the Board at their regular meeting on March 22, 2023.
TriMet also conducted a Title VI equity analysis to determine the potential impacts that a fare increase would have on people of color and those who live on a low income. The results were presented to the Board at their March 29, 2023 Strategy Session. TriMet is committed to working with the community to determine opportunities to mitigate such impacts, as required under federal law.
The Board will hold a second reading of Ordinance 374 at their May meeting on Wednesday, May 24, followed immediately by a roll call vote.